Author: Kim Belard

Like most cultures, the United States claims to love and value children, but, my God, reality seems very different.Three recent reports help illustrate this point: the Pew Research Center’s Fertility Expectation Report, Claire Sudarth Keen attention to the childcare industry exist Bloomberg, with UNICEF survey On how young people and their elders view the future.

It’s hard to say which is more frustrating.


The Pew Research Center found that the proportion of non-parents under 50 who expect to have children has jumped from 37% in 2018 to 44% in 2021. There has been a slight increase in parents who do not expect to have more children (71% to 74%). The main reason why children without children do not want children is that they do not want children, which is cited by 56% of people who do not want children. Among those who gave reasons, medical and economic reasons were cited the most. Parents today are more likely — 63% — to put it simply that they just don’t want more.

This should not be a huge surprise.Earlier this year, the Census Bureau Report The birth rate in the United States has declined for the sixth consecutive year, The largest one-year percentage decline since 1965 and the lowest absolute number of babies since 1979It is easy to blame this on the pandemic, but, as the sociologist Phillip N. Cohen Tell Washington post: “This is an impact, but it will not change direction.”

In many ways, having children seems to ignore everything that is happening. We are facing a climate change/global warming crisis that may cause serious damage to human society. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic. Our political/cultural climate seems to be more unstable than the actual climate. Xer Generation Tell New York Times: “In my opinion, giving birth is like throwing dice in an increasingly uncertain world.”



The chaos in the US childcare industry (nursery, daycare, preschool) may help explain why people are reluctant to have children/more children. If you have children or someone you know has children, you will hear complaints about childcare. It’s harder to find good ones, harder to enter them, harder to pay for them. The people who work in it are miracles in most cases, but they are too few, and their salaries are severely underpaid…even though the cost of childcare is so expensive.

Multiple sclerosis.Sudat Write“Childcare services in the United States are a rare example of an almost entirely private market in which the services provided are too expensive for consumers and the companies that provide them.” She quoted Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Said: “The free market works well in many different areas, but childcare is not one of them.”

At least in terms of health care, Some People are making money.

Workers’ wages are lower than their wages at Amazon or Walmart, but between the staffing ratio and other regulatory requirements, the cost may be close to college tuition. It prevents many women from working, hindering their careers and our overall economic development. To make matters worse, the lack of preschool will have a lifelong impact on children’s development. She quoted Catherine Wolfram of the U.S. Department of the Treasury: “There is a very strong and powerful economic document that documents the positive effects of early childhood education. Educating children has all these benefits for the rest of society.”

The Better Rebuild Act was supposed to solve some childcare issues, such as limiting parental spending on childcare and raising workers’ wages, but Ms. Suddath warned not to be so fast. She suggested that the bill is more ambitious than the regulations:

States can decide to raise funds for preschool, but refuse additional funds to subsidize other forms of childcare. Or a country can call all this communism and do nothing.

Other than that, there are not many details in the bill. For example, the states have no guidance on how to help childcare companies pay higher wages.

Do you think all the red states that ignore the mask/vaccine regulations/medical aid expansion will be eager to solve the childcare problem?


The UNICEF survey included respondents from 21 countries and found that in general, young people aged 15-24 think that their country’s children will live better than their parents — but in the United States, only 43 % Of people think so, and 56% disagree. It would have been worse; in many other developed countries, the percentage of “worse conditions” is even worse. Older respondents were more pessimistic (64%).

Lawrence Chandi, a UNICEF official in charge of the survey, said: “In many developing countries, people are more optimistic that, yes, our living standards are improving with each generation. But Western recognition has stopped happening. “In fact, American children born in 1980 or later are No longer possible Earning more than their parents, this is an amazing reversal of the trend from 1940 to 1980.

Young Americans still believe that “hard work” is the key to success, but they barely exclude “family wealth or connections”. This is in contrast to their elders, who are more likely to still believe in hard work. Education is a distant third.

We should be a country where success lies in receiving a good education and hard work, not in who your family and friends are. We are no longer that country.

No wonder our young people are pessimistic about their future.


Speaking of children’s health, of course the United States Should be downcast. We have too many poor children, too many hungry children, too many children without medical insurance. Our infant (and maternal) mortality rate is absolutely third world. Compared with other developed countries, our children are too fat, too prone to diabetes, too likely to become pregnant, and too likely to use illegal drugs.

We have some of the best children’s hospitals in the world, but we pay less for pediatricians than any other specialists, so there is a shortage. This is similar to those childcare workers or elementary school teachers: we say we want to give our children the best, but we don’t seem to want to pay for the best. it shows.


I hope I have some good news. I hope I have some solutions. When I look at the young people in life, I admire their spirit, but I worry about their future. Why do politicians oppose universal preschool education, affordable childcare or paid family leave—it’s undeniable that each is good for children—I’m at a loss.

We can do better for our children. we must.

Kim was the former head of e-marketing of the main Blues project and the late editor Tincture, Is now a regular THCB contributor.

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